Tit-for-tat Covid curbs: MVA spars with BJP-ruled states in times of pandemic
Tit-for-tat Covid curbs: MVA spars with BJP-ruled states in times of pandemic
Photo: BL Soni

Mumbai: The sparring between neighbours Maharashtra and Karnataka continues. Days after the BJP-led government in Karnataka made negative RT-PCR reports compulsory for those coming from Maharashtra, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has hinted that it will also insist on this requirement for those entering the state from Karnataka. This was announced on Monday by Minister of State for Home Satej Patil, who is also the Kolhapur district guardian minister.

Now, the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh too has made compulsory thermal scanning of people entering their state from Maharashtra, in view of the rising Covid-19 cases in the latter. The MP home department, in an order issued on Monday, has asked the district collectors of Bhopal, Indore, Baitul, Sivni, Chindwada, Balaghat, Badwani, Khandwa, Khargaon, Burhanpur and Alirajpur to hold district crisis management committee meetings and decide on the organisation of religious fairs at which devotees from Maharashtra are in attendance. The department has asked district collectors to take strong action against non-masking and non-observance of safe physical distancing.

As far as the Maharashtra government is concerned, Patil said the state government could also impose such a curb. “The Karnataka government should not take a rigid stand. It should facilitate entry to the passengers travelling from Maharashtra who have undergone the Covid-19 test. If the Karnataka government bans entry, then the Maha Vikas Aghadi government will also have to take a similar decision for passengers returning from the neighbouring state,” he warned.

Patil said, even though Covid cases are soaring, Maharashtra residents should be allowed entry in Karnataka after being subjected to RT-PCR tests. “I will bring the Karnataka government’s decision to the Central government’s notice. We don’t mind if the Karnataka government tests people coming from Maharashtra and later puts them in quarantine,” he noted.

Patil was responding to the circular issued on Saturday by the Karnataka government, making the ‘coronavirus negative’ test report mandatory to enter the state. A four-page circular issued by Karnataka Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Jawaid Akhtar said, “All the returnees from Maharashtra shall produce negative RT-PCR certificate, which is not older than 72 hours. District authorities may take suitable preventive measures as and when necessary, with intimation to the state.”

The negative RT-PCR report shall be verified at the time of boarding by the airline staff. For those travelling by bus, tickets shall be issued on production of negative RT-PCR report or shall be checked by the bus conductor while boarding.

In trains, the travelling ticket examiners will check the negative RT-PCR test report. A random check of the test reports of persons arriving at the tollgates/points of entry shall be made for those coming by personal transport.

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